chapter 3: Part 4

The dining hall was huge, with mismatched tables everywhere. "People can eat elsewhere, there are cafe's littered about, and self catering departments," Jordan explained as they weaved among the tables up to a long area where food was being served. "but most people tend to come here, since it's no effort, and the food's usually good." He grinned, and raised an arm to wave, Maya followed his gaze, and saw Arlo, Kara, Torr and another boy sat at a table in the corner, she began to migrate towards them, but Jordan's hands on her shoulders veered her the other way. "Grub now, talk later."

She joined the gaggle of people queuing to get food, and tried to peer over them to see what was on offer. Some sort of casserole, vegetables and what looked like cake at the far end. There were soft drinks, but also blue and green and pink drinks, sparkling and fizzing, and something suspiciously dark red and thick. Maya didn't want to know what it was. As they got closer, she could also see raw meat on offer, and some sort of soup. "Some of this stuff looks pretty weird." She commented to Jordan as the queue surged forward.

"That's because it's not just for us, theres food for other creatures too." He moved forward before Maya had a chance to ask him what he meant. And Maya suddenly had to choose food, she realised she didn't have much time, she was already being swept up by people clamouring to get their fill. She grabbed a plate and spooned the casserole onto it, grabbing vegetables and a fruit salad. She didn't fancy trying one of the multicoloured drinks, and so grabbed a coke before turning to follow Jordan as he weaved towards the table Arlo and the others were at. 

Jordan nudged Kara with his tray, "Budge up, you're so skinny there's easily room for a slender (yet gorgeous bodied) guy like me to sit on the bench."

"God, you're such a pain!" Kara rolled her eyes, but slid up for Jordan. Maya paused, before slipping in next to Arlo in the only available seat. She glanced up at him, but he stared down at his food without acknowledging her. The guy sat on the other side of him leaned round and smiled at Maya.

"Who's this?" He asked, glancing at Arlo, he was about Arlo's height, with ruffled brown hair and blue eyes, Maya would have said he was older than them, judging by the shadowy stubble that lined his jawline, and his face held something that made him seem older than the others. 

"That's Maya," Kara jumped in, "Maya this is Michael, he works with Gianna on the council, though not as high up as her." 

"I'm don't usually eat with this lot, but I wanted to catch up with them, and Gianna told me we had a new one staying with us. How'd you get here?" He asked, still smiling warmly at Maya. 

"She's Leonardo's one." Arlo said, almost angrily. "Jordan teleported with her here this morning." 

"Ahh, so that's where Jordan went, I was looking for you this morning." He said, turning back to Jordan. Maya spooned up some of her casserole, it was good, better than what she cooked at home. Although typically, her home cooked meals consisted of oven chips and something sloppy out of a can, not always edible. She made good egg and toast though. 

"You were?" Jordan replied, his mouth full of casserole. 

"Mmm, I wanted to check your permit, we're doing a security check of all the over nineteen year olds." 

"Oh, sure thing. I'll get it for you after."  They nattered on, Torr and Kara chirping in sometimes. Maya glanced up at Arlo again. 

"So, we've been assigned to train you." Arlo said suddenly, making her jump. She wasn't even sure he was talking to her at first. He said it as a statement, not a question.

"Yeah, Gianna told me she thought it would be good, because you're, you know, closer to my age and all. She said it was her idea that I get training from people who are experienced." She wasn't sure if Arlo was pleased of not with getting to train her. 

"Well, you'll learn a lot, that's for sure, but mind Jordan, he sleeps with anything that moves." There was annoyed disgust in his voice, but something else, that was almost caring, as if Jordan was a particularly annoying sibling Arlo couldn't help but like.

Maya wasn't sure how to respond without offending anyone. "Well, he's been nice to me since I got here, so I like him. Not in that way though." She added. "Arlo? Can I ask you something?"

"Ask away"

"Kara," Maya dropped her voice so the girl opposite her wouldn't hear "What is she? I mean, I've never heard of her... kind before, and the guy in the lift also had the, you know..."

Arlo almost laughed "The ears? Yeah, well they're not rare, she's half Lycan, so she has wolf features, but isn't a werewolf. The correct term is dimidium lupus, in latin, it means part wolf, or half wolf. They're kind began from wolves, although there are dimidiim leo's, cats, who were derived from lions, and so on. They have magic in them I suppose, though most aren't very powerful. She'll be more of your personal trainer, keeping you fit and teaching you how to fight." Maya took this in, glancing up at Kara, intrigued. Arlo went on "Jordan will be helping you control your Whitelight, you've got a bit of a feisty temper, and we'd rather not be on the receiving end when you unconsciously burnt the office floor earlier."

She blushed slightly, looking back to him. She could see her was trying not to laugh, a smile playing on his lips. It made him look like some runaway male model. "And you?" She asked "What are you going to be doing?" He stopped smiling, and turned away slightly. "Whitelight?" 

"No, I don't specialise in Whitelight," His voice was guarded, like he wasn't sure if he wanted to tell her. "I specialise in, other stuff. I'll tell you another time, when you've learnt more." She knew he didn't want to talk to her about it, and she didn't push him. They turned back to the rest of the group, who were laughing at one of Jordan's antidotes. But Maya couldn't push off the feeling that Arlo had been withholding something from her, something big.

The End

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